by Lacey Griebeler, Chef Magazine
In conjunction with Chef Magazine's July issue (read it here), which focused on breakfast foods, we bring you some innovative breakfast and brunch-buffet tools to help make the most important meal of the day an easy one to prepare, too.
Automatic pancake machine. If breakfast is big business for your restaurant, check out Popcake, a commercial-grade, fully automatic pancake-making machine. With the press of a button, Popcake churns out perfectly cooked, low-fat pancakes every 20 seconds in three possible sizes: large (5 1/2-inch diameter), medium (4-inch diameter) and mini (2-inch diameter). Consider the uses beyond standard pancakes, too; the company recommends trying the mini size for blinis and canapés. Smaller than a commercial microwave, the Popcake machine is an easy addition to the back of the house--or it can be incorporated into a buffet setting. Visit www.popcake.com.
Safer bagel slicer. While bagels are an ideal breakfast food for on-the-go customers, slicing a plethora of bagels individually to order can be tedious as well as dangerous. But most kitchens may not have the space for a relatively large-footprint automatic slicer either. Enter the Brooklyn Bagel Slicer, a stainless-steel serrated knife with an outer guard to allow the operator to neatly and evenly cut the bagel in half without worrying about fingers. The Brooklyn Bagel Slicer has an ergonomic design and is dishwasher-safe. The Classic model has one blade for creating even halves, and the Club Knife has two blades to cut bagels or rolls into three slices for making club sandwiches. Visit www.brooklynbagelslicer.com.
Waffle mix dispenser. Looking to cut down on labor for the brunch banquet and save time by prepping the day before? The Waffle mix masters at Carbon's Golden Malted offer the Better Batter Dispenser for self-service applications, and the machine allows for batter to be prepped up to 24 hours in advance. During breakfast, guests can walk up to the machine, place a single-serving cup under the nozzle, and push down on the lever to fill the cup with batter, then cook their waffles on a hot waffle iron close by. The batter is held in a disposable liner inside the stainless-steel body, which makes for a nice presentation and easy clean-up at the end of breakfast service. The unit maintains the batter at the proper temperature yet does not need an electrical hookup. Visit www.goldenmalted.com.